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Treadmills with a TV screen embedded are becoming more common as users look to alleviate boredom during the monotony of an indoor run. As a squash player, a lot of my training involves endurance and running so I have a good idea of what makes an effective treadmill.
Using this knowledge, I’ve researched 7 different treadmills, and with its range of exciting features and huge 22″ inch screen, there’s no doubt the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 is the best quality treadmill out there.
It is expensive though, so I’ve also picked out the best value treadmill and budget model for those not wanting to spend loads of money on a treadmill. There are 4 other alternatives for you to cast your eyes over for further options.
Let’s take a look.
NordicTrack Commercial 2950: Best Quality Treadmill
NordicTrack Commercial 2950 is well worth its hefty price tag. It’s full of exciting gadgets, has a massive 22″ TV screen, and a motor that feels like it could run forever. With a wide range of hi-tech features, the Commercial really does feel like the king of modern treadmills, justifying its high price tag.
Interactive Coaching Touchscreen
The central control hub for this heavyweight machine. Everything centers around the 22″ touchscreen, which NordicTrack refers to as the Interactive Coaching Touchscreen. With an HD display and brilliantly clear graphics, the touchscreen offers full absorption in scenic iFit coach’s workouts.
The screen is super-responsive to touch and works like a dream when using it to define or set-up your workout. A 5-star feature.
iFit Coach Workouts
I personally love when gym equipment makes the most of technology, and the Commercial’s use of iFit Coach is absolutely exemplary. They combine it so well with the other features of the machine such as the power incline and decline, the HD touchscreen, and the excellent motor.
A series of popular coaching workouts control the treadmills’ speed and incline to copy landscapes from around the world giving you a fully immersive workout. This is further enhanced by utilizing Google Maps street view to provide a visual immersion into the workout. This is an excellent addition that can enhance your workout, allowing you to feel like you are running anywhere in the world, so long as the Google Maps car has been there.
There is a nearly infinite variety of Google Maps workouts, and the iFit includes a large collection of video workouts alongside a personal trainer of your choice. The workouts can help with your fitness program beyond the treadmill, combining cardio and strength training in the workouts. For those only interested in cardio, there is a vast array of cardio-only workouts too.
This makes the NordicTrack suitable for whatever level of athlete you are, helping you to reach a wide variety of fitness goals.
The 4.25CHP motor is a beast. It can easily power through your sprint, endurance runs, and HIIT sessions, combining seamless speed changes with impressive durability as it purrs its way through your workout. This helps the 2950 deliver a variety of suitable workouts, whatever your fitness goals.
Tread Belt and Cushioning
The huge 22×60 inch tread belt is long enough to accommodate a long-running stride, whilst the extra 2-inches of width give that added elbow room you didn’t know you needed until you have it.
The suspension system below the belt is highly impressive too, offering what NordicTrack calls Reflex Advanced Cushioning. This system gives you the option of a cushioned deck to minimize the impact on your joints, or a road-like surface if you’re training for a marathon or just fancy knackering out your knees.
Probably the most underrated part of the belt is how quiet it is. There’s a lack of constant thudding often associated with treadmills thanks to the WhisperQuiet™ deck and two-ply tread belt. This lets you carry on your workout in relative peace, and probably keeps the neighbors happy too.
The 2950 is equipped with cooling fans. These feature the AutoBreeze which automatically adjusts the fans’ speed to your speed as if you’re running outside. This adds to the virtual reality that the NordicTrack creates for you, and for a second you could be forgiven for thinking you actually are running along the Great Wall of China.
You can set the fan speed manually as well, and the triple action targets your face and torso keeping you cool as you burn those calories.
- SpaceSaver allows the 2950 to easily be folded upward conserving floorspace
- Bluetooth connectivity allows you to play your music via the treadmills’ excellent speakers, or connect your Bluetooth headphones to listen to the trainers’ instructions.
- Wireless Heart Rate Monitor allows you to keep track of your heart rate, helping you stay on top of calories burnt and how efficiently you are exercising.
- Really short warranty lets this machine down slightly. 10 years on motor and 2 years on parts is well below competitors at this price range, and disappointing from NordicTrack.
- Heavy. Needs two people to set-up or you can pay extra to get someone to set it up for you.
I really like this machine and if you are planning to use a treadmill regularly and as a key part of your workout program then I would definitely recommend the 2950. If however, you’re looking to keep fit by running 2-3 times a week or just don’t want to spend that much on a fitness machine, then there are other, cheaper options that may be more suitable.
ProForm SMART Pro 5000: Value For Money
For the value for money, you wouldn’t expect as many features, as much power, and as much space as the ProForm SMART Pro 5000 offers. This excellent machine combines hi-tech equipment with reasonable pricing, and ProForm even throws in a long warranty too.
The Pro 5000 is a great machine for beginners who want to fully immerse themselves in the running world, or even for advanced runners looking to maintain fitness using their home gym. It offers users a long track, high top-speed, fantastic cushioning, and power incline & decline features to help maximize the benefits of your workout.
10″ HD Touchscreen
I was a bit dubious as to why a 10″ screen needs to be HD, but in fairness, it does look very clear and helps engage you in a virtual world with Google Maps street views. It’s also handy for watching the personal trainers demonstrate correct techniques in the exercise videos.
It’s responsive too making choosing your workout a stress-free and seamless task.
I’m a big fan of the power incline and decline on treadmills, and this one demonstrates a smooth and quick transition to assist HIIT workouts and add variety to your running.
The incline and decline features can really help boost your metabolic rate, reduce injury risk by training your muscles in different ways and relieving pressure on the joints, and burn more calories.
Tread Belt and Cushioning
Excellent cushioning and oversized belts are something we have come to expect from ProForm machines, and the Pro 5000 is no different. With a 60″ L track this treadmill allows even the lankiest of runners to really stretch their legs and push hard in those fast intervals.
This is useful as it makes the Pro 5000 a great addition to a home gym and usable for the whole family. It’s wide too (20″) so there’s plenty of room to wave your elbows around.
Another excellent motor in a ProForm machine kicks out a massive 3.75CHP. This is more than adequate for any athlete’s training needs meaning you can really push to the max when using this machine.
The 10-year warranty suggests that the motor is pretty reliable too, saving you money and inconvenience in the long-term.
The ProForm is equipped with the popular iFit coach. This allows you to simulate running or walking in a real location using Google Maps street view, and access a comprehensive video workout library.
As mentioned, the HD screen goes really well with this feature. Furthermore, you can use iFit to create personal training plans, log run data, and lots more beyond this. iFit Coach adds great value to the treadmill and helps users get the most out of their workouts and build their fitness and health.
- Features EKG grip sensors that measure your heart rate so you can keep track of your workout efficiency
- Folds neatly and easily with EasyLift assist. Helps save floorspace in your home gym.
- ProForm has a notoriously poor customer service team, with extremely long waiting times and poorly handled complaints regularly reported by customers. If you buy this, pray nothing goes wrong.
- Very odd returns policy can see the customer end up paying for shipping and a 10% “restocking fee”.
ProForm Performance 1800i: Budget Friendly (Can hold a device. no tv screen)
Bucking the trend that treadmills have to be expensive to be decent, the ProForm Performance 1800i is very much the baby treadmill of the impressive ProForm range. Despite this, it comes with an array of positive reviews and a very reasonable price tag considering how much treadmills can cost.
If you’re on a budget or just looking to use the treadmill sporadically, then the Performance 1800i is for you. It comes equipped with 30 built-in exercises, iFit, a 60″ track, and even folds to save floor space.
It does not have a in-built TV but does have a device holder and can be connected to iFit.
Ok, it doesn’t decline but at this price treadmills have a tendency to not bother with anything other than 0%, so hats off to ProForm. The Performace 1800i inclines to 15%, great if you want to relieve pressure on your joints, burn more calories, and really work your quads and calves.
It’s a power incline too making the transition smooth and seamless mid-workout. This means it can be easily incorporated into interval training and HIIT sessions.
Equipped with a massive 30 pre-installed workout programs, the Performance 1800i is perfect for beginners or casual runners who aren’t sure how to get the most out of their treadmill sessions. You can’t claim the workouts are rubbish either, they’ve all been designed and evaluated by certified personal trainers.
The treadmill will automatically adjust the incline and speed throughout leaving you to just focus on burning calories and getting a good workout.
The Performance 1800i is compatible with iFit so you can download additional workouts and even run virtual routes with Google Maps.
A pretty robust and durable 3.0CHP motor is fitted with the Performance 1800i, perfect for any beginner to intermediate runner, and even some advanced runners. I found the motor to be smooth and relatively quiet. It keeps up well with all the workout routines and the lifetime warranty on it means you don’t have to worry about it breaking down.
Tread Belt and Cushioning
With a 60×20 inch track, the Performance 1800i is perfect for any stride length, letting you stretch out and really push on those sprint intervals.
ProForms’ very own ProShox cushioning system is also included, helping ease the impact on your joints. ProForm claim this reduces the impact by 28% compared with running on tarmac. This is another feature not commonly found on treadmills at this price, and great for new runners who may otherwise get injured running on harder surfaces.
I already touched on this, but I do really like that ProForm has included a lifetime warranty on the motor. It shows their confidence in it and also increases our confidence in its durability and quality.
They also include a lifetime warranty on the frame and a 3-year warranty on parts. Very impressive for a budget-friendly model.
- You can save floor space with the SpaceSaver folding mechanism. It uses EasyLift technology so folding it is simple and straightforward.
- Has an audio port and speakers to which you can connect your smartphone and blast out those motivational tunes as you run.
- Pulse sensors on the handlebars can measure your heart rate letting you measure the efficiency of your workout.
- 7″ screen is rather unnecessarily small. Can be difficult to see/use when in the middle of a tough workout
- To use the iFit requires additional add-ons, annoying if you’re on a budget.
- Prices are a bit random and you have to find them on sale to get better price.
This is a great machine with lots of impressive features considering the price. A really good option for anyone on a budget but still wants a versatile treadmill that can offer variety and challenge to your workouts.
NordicTrack Commercial 1750
Another belting effort from NordicTrack, the Commercial 1750 only misses out on best value treadmill because of its short warranty and overly complicated assembly. It’s also absolutely huge, a good thing if you have the space because it’s super stable. If you’re in a small apartment though this is useless, and the size feels rather unnecessary.
Despite being the cheapest of the Commercial range, the 1750 is far from entry-level boasting an abundance of features. A deluxe machine that will please runners and power-walkers alike. The popular machine is equipped with iFit, and enhanced with Bluetooth audio to keep you motivated throughout your workout.
Its 3.75CHP motor runs smoothly and quietly, boasting enough power to maintain a good sprint and support all levels of runners. Combine this with the immersive HD 10” touchscreen and power incline/decline abilities of -3% – 15% and this machine can really ramp up the intensity of your workout.
Suitable for serious runners or beginners looking for a high-quality machine, you won’t regret spending your money on the NordicTrack Commercial 1750.
ProForm SMART Pro 9000 (Built In Screen & Device holder)
As we’ve come to expect, this is a solid effort from ProForm. For a surprisingly low price, the Pro 9000 offers a huge 4.0CHP motor, a fantastic 10″ HD display, 3″ speakers, and power incline and decline.
The incline/decline feature allows the machine to run anywhere between -3% to 15%. This really surprised me, particularly considering the more expensive Nordic T 9.5S only offer 0-12%. The seamless transition allows for more variety to workouts and also supports iFits real-world simulation experience.
With ProForm ProShox cushioning system and plenty of room on the 22″ W track, the Pro 9000 really offers a comfortable running experience, which can be enhanced by connecting your smartphone to the 3″ speakers.
This machine is designed for heavy-duty runners and can support a range of training styles and fitness levels. I think it offers great value considering the size and durability of its motor, and its smart features.
ProForm SMART Pro 2000 (Built In screen and device holder)
ProForms entry-level treadmill has built a respectable reputation over the years and remains a good machine for anyone looking to start their fitness journey.
Equipped with a reasonable 3.25CHP motor makes it powerful enough to be suitable for running. The Pro 2000 also features power incline and decline features, offering excellent workouts for anyone looking to burn some calories and put on a good sweat.
I’m a big fan of the impressive 10″ HD screen on this machine, and its responsiveness allows a quick and easy selection of workouts. The crisp display helps immerse you in the real-world simulation provided by iFit.
A decent and affordable machine if you are a beginner or just want a cheap treadmill to use every so often.
NordicTrack T 9.5S
With a 3.6CHP motor, the NordicTrack T 9.5S treadmill can stand up to even the most grueling workouts. Whilst it lacks the stand-out features of the 2950, it is an excellent machine for runners or joggers looking to step up from an entry-level treadmill.
With 50 different exercise programs installed, it offers plenty of workout options. Despite this, the lack of a power decline feature is disappointing considering the price. An incline of only 12% is disappointing too.
It also features iFit although after the first year you do have to pay to retain your membership. This is not cheap and costs $39/month to maintain.
Whilst the T 9.5S does have a range of features, its size is a big let-down meaning taller runners would struggle to get a proper sprint going. The max user weight is also quite low, at just 300lbs. as you begin to reach this limit the machine can start to feel a bit unstable. Any users above 225lbs would be advised to go for the next model up.
Considering the cons I feel it is a bit overpriced, despite the exciting gadgets.
Buying Guide for Treadmills with TV
Too small a screen and you’ll be straining your eyes to see the screen, not particularly conducive to good running form and burning maximum calories. Generally, a 10-12-inch screen is a good size, whilst not being too intrusive.
An essential part of any treadmill is the size of its motor. The size you should get depends on what you use it for.
If you are mainly going to use the treadmill for walking, then a 2 CHP motor should be large enough. For jogging, it’s best to go for a minimum of a 2.5 CHP motor, and if you are looking to do running or interval training then anything above 3 CHP will work.
These are a guide, and if you are above average weight, then you may want to consider nudging these figures up by 5.
Before buying always make sure to check you have somewhere to put the treadmill and consider the size of your space or home gym. This will save the potential inconvenience of buying and setting-up your treadmill only to have to send it back because you don’t have enough space.
Size of Treadmill
Similar to the motor size, the belt size of the treadmill depends on what kind of workouts you will use it for. For walking, you can save a bit of money by choosing a shorter treadmill. A belt size of around 50″ is recommended. For running you will need to stretch out your legs a bit more. I’d advise you to go no lower than 55″.
Also, consider your own stride length. If you’re over 6ft, then for running you may want to consider a belt size of over 60″.
As mentioned above, horsepower is determined by the size of the motor. Horsepower (HP) refers to the max amount of horsepower the motor runs at, whilst continuous horsepower (CHP) refers to the minimum amount of horsepower the treadmill can maintain throughout the workout.
CHP is usually a better indication of power than HP, so always look for this when deciding which one to buy.
Speed & Pitch
Once again, consider what you will be using the treadmill for when looking at the speed. For walking, anywhere between 0.1-4kph is fine. Most treadmills should reach this speed so you do not need to worry.
For running, interval training, and more serious fitness enthusiasts, you might want to consider a treadmill that has higher speed options. Anything above 6kph is considered running speed.
Before buying consider what speed you will be running at. Some machines can reach 16kph. But this is a rapid rate and if you’re a beginner it’s unlikely you’ll reach this speed.
If you’re a runner looking to improve speed and stamina through HIIT and interval training, then search for a treadmill with a max speed of 10-12+kph.
Ease of Movement
Larger treadmills can be rather difficult to move around so before buying, make sure you know where it will go in your house/home gym.
If moving it around is unavoidable, consider a foldable model. There is a full range of foldable models in 2021, covering all budgets. Foldable models are much more portable and capable of offering the same levels of workout as non-foldable models.
Preloaded Workout Programs or Apps
If you’re a beginner or not sure how best to use the treadmill straight away, it’s worth checking if you’re model comes with pre-installed workouts. You’ll increase endurance, fitness, and burn more calories by varying your workout as much as possible.
If you’re like me and love gym equipment that makes the most of the latest technologies, then be sure to check the connectivity and gadgets on the model before buying. Some treadmills are compatible with a wide range of devices, apps, and smartphones, whereas others may only connect to one type of heart rate monitor, for example.
As it’s an expensive piece of equipment, you want your treadmill to last a long time. One way to ensure durability is to check out the warranty offered. If the seller only offers a short warranty then it’s worth looking elsewhere. This is particularly important if you are likely to be using the treadmill most days.
Adjusting the incline of your treadmill can burn excess calories and boost endurance, as well as give the quads and calves an extra workout. Typically, treadmills can incline to a max of 15% although this can vary from one model to the next.
Treadmills with a decline are slightly more expensive, but they do allow you to take your workout to the next level and more closely imitate an outdoor run. You can still get a good workout without a decline, so if you’re a beginner this is not a must.
The gadgets and monster 22″ screen of the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 give it the edge as the best quality treadmill for me. I really enjoyed how the advanced power incline/decline feature and HD screen enhanced the immersive iFit real-world simulation. The excellent cushioning and AutoBreeze features are excellent too.
The ProForm Power 995i is the way to go if you’re on a budget with its surprisingly large track and excellent power incline. The ProForm SMART Pro 5000 offers the best value for money of all the treadmills I tested.